14 Steps to Better Fundraising

Posted on February 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Board/Staff Relationship · Tagged: , ,
  1. Treat fundraising and marketing as an essential part of your organization’s operations – not an afterthought. The CEO should spend a minimum of 30-40% of their time and energy on fundraising.
  2. Don’t let fundraising fall in “no-man’s land” between the staff and board. The staff owns the fundraising plan – including creation and implementation. The board supports the fundraising plan at the request of the CEO.
  3. Have the CEO, ED, or a staff person create an Annual Fundraising Plan (a monthly budget of income from each source of funds) and include “Fundraising Budget against Actual” in the CEO’s report at each board meeting.
  4. Watch your results carefully. Cut out fundraising programs that don’t work.
  5. Create and execute a marketing plan that raises awareness of your organization and its achievements in your community.
  6. Be aware that 80-85% of all US nonprofit funding comes from individual and major donors – and strengthen your individual and major donor programs so that you can strive to achieve this percent for your organization.
  7. Invest time and money in a donor data base that will perform the functions you need.
  8. Build strong relationships with your donors and establish multiple, meaningful contacts with each donor each year.
  9. Tell more stories about the people affected by your work and the results you’re achieving.
  10. Personally visit your major donors to thank them for their past donations. Tell them the results you’ve achieved with their money and ask them to invest in your specific plans for the future.
  11. Thank your donors in writing, by email, by phone, and in person (publicly and privately). You can not thank donors enough. Get your board to help.
  12. Be sure that every board member takes part in one or more aspects of your fundraising plan. For example, board members can thank donors, open doors, approach foundations, organize fundraisers, hold information parties in their homes, speak to community groups, and tell their friends and family how lives are changing as the result of your work.
  13. Run, don’t walk, to use technology (yes, social media, email, e-newsletters and web sites) to communicate with friends and donors of the organization. Get a “DONATE NOW” button on your web site – and in each e-newsletter.
  14. Give me a positive reason to send you money – not just that your funding is down this year. Everyone likes to be associated with a winner.